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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>If You Could Start From Scratch....
Heidi 12:39 PM 04-24-2012
Dh and I are considering building a house on some land we own. Alot depends on whether we could sell our current home.

So, if we do this, I would get to design my dc from scratch! Not with an unlimted budget, mind you, but as part of the building process. I get THE WHOLE BASEMENT!!!!

THe main room with be about 30x15, and will have a seperate door (I'm thinking 1/2 glass steel door), and I can put windows on 2 walls. The other room will be 14x15 or so, and will have an egress window. There will also be a utility room (yeah...storage!) and full bath.

I think I should definately have a kitchenette (already have a white refrigerator and microwave), maybe a hot plate stove top for a stovetop?

The floor will be heated, painted cement with some area rugs.

What would be your must-haves? Right now my group is 5 kids ages 21 months to 5, but that will definately change, so I need to plan for all ages....

So...give me your wish list for inspiration, please!
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Blackcat31 12:46 PM 04-24-2012
Ooo, we have in floor heat....and it is awesome!!!
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WImom 12:52 PM 04-24-2012
A way to get outside from the basement? Maybe even a way for the parents to enter too? Or will you not have the option of a walk out basement?
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JenNJ 01:43 PM 04-24-2012
I would put wall to wall carpeting over the cement. Make the entryway have laminate flooring and have parents stay there with shoes to extend the life of the carpet. My dc room is concrete floors as well and I have THICK padding and wall to wall. The kids bounce when they fall, lol. Concrete floors sound like a huge liability to me.
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Neekie 01:52 PM 04-24-2012
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
I would put wall to wall carpeting over the cement. Make the entryway have laminate flooring and have parents stay there with shoes to extend the life of the carpet. My dc room is concrete floors as well and I have THICK padding and wall to wall. The kids bounce when they fall, lol. Concrete floors sound like a huge liability to me.
Yeah, this! I agree! Area rugs can be a trip hazzard, too. At least they would be for my group. They fall over their own feet. LOL Have fun planning your area. Sounds exciting!
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DCMom 01:54 PM 04-24-2012
I have a walkout basement with outdoor stairs leading down from the front of the house for parents. Best thing I ever did. I have a commercial grade, level loop carpet with a thick pad over concrete. It stands up very well. Laminate in the entry and kitchen.

In the bathroom I would install a wall mount changing table or do some sort of changing station in the tub/shower area with storage for diapers and extra clothing. <--- that is something I wish I had thought of when doing our daycare bathroom.

Separate nap room for the infants/toddlers. For me, my toy storage room doubles as a nap room. It is 12 x 16, so the pnp's just stay up all the time.

These are all things I add after the fact...if I could start from scratch and do it over again, I would change soooo much! Good Luck and have fun
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Heidi 02:11 PM 04-24-2012
Originally Posted by WImom:
A way to get outside from the basement? Maybe even a way for the parents to enter too? Or will you not have the option of a walk out basement?
Yep..it'll be a walkout with an entry door for parents and it will lead right into the play yard. So, parents and kids never go into the upstairs, unless they are visiting socially outside of daycare.

The front window will look out the front into the play yard, as well, and there will be one more window on another wall, so pretty bright for a basement..

I'll have to ponder the concrete floor thing more. You really aren't supposed to put anything thick over heated floors, and honestly, the kids go on the cement sidewalk outside. I will have area rugs though...gotta have those soft surfaces! I'll just have to make sure to place furniture to limit any running, like creating smaller centers, etc. My sister does have painted, heated concrete at her vacation home, and there have been no issues with visiting kids, even little ones.

I'm also thinking that my kitchen area should be seperated somehow, with a low wall or shelving. It can double as a messy-art area, so that I can control a bit who is in that and when. Besides, kitchen's aren't the safest things in the world, so I'd feel better if it was inaccessible when I take that trip to the bathroom.

So, do I create a "baby zone" right at the start, or do I make a preschoolers only area for the older ones? hmmm...
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JenNJ 02:26 PM 04-24-2012
Originally Posted by Heidi:
I'll have to ponder the concrete floor thing more. You really aren't supposed to put anything thick over heated floors, and honestly, the kids go on the cement sidewalk outside. I will have area rugs though...gotta have those soft surfaces! I'll just have to make sure to place furniture to limit any running, like creating smaller centers, etc. My sister does have painted, heated concrete at her vacation home, and there have been no issues with visiting kids, even little ones. .
It's great that your sister has that in her home, but does she have a daycare? the liability issues are different, kwim? I would nix the heat and just do wall to wall. That's what I have. With the carpet, there is no need for heat and my room is exposed on three sides. No issues with keeping it warm (or cool) at all.

It isn't the running that scares me, it is the new walkers. They fall HARD and fall OFTEN. If you do go with concrete, I would urge helmets on everyone esp those under 2.

And as far as the area rugs go, I had hardwood floors with area rugs before my dc room was finished. One day we were marching and a 3 year old tripped on the edge of the rug, fell on her elbow and broke her arm. Not running, not dancing, MARCHING. Going as slow as walking and it snapped like that.
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Heidi 02:38 PM 04-24-2012
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
It's great that your sister has that in her home, but does she have a daycare? the liability issues are different, kwim? I would nix the heat and just do wall to wall. That's what I have. With the carpet, there is no need for heat and my room is exposed on three sides. No issues with keeping it warm (or cool) at all.

It isn't the running that scares me, it is the new walkers. They fall HARD and fall OFTEN. If you do go with concrete, I would urge helmets on everyone esp those under 2.

And as far as the area rugs go, I had hardwood floors with area rugs before my dc room was finished. One day we were marching and a 3 year old tripped on the edge of the rug, fell on her elbow and broke her arm. Not running, not dancing, MARCHING. Going as slow as walking and it snapped like that.
I'll keep it in mind....but I am in WI, you're In CA, right? The floors get ALOT colder in WI in January.

I do appreciate that you brought it up, though. Maybe I'll do baseboard heat and carpet instead....
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JenNJ 02:44 PM 04-24-2012
Originally Posted by Heidi:
I'll keep it in mind....but I am in WI, you're In CA, right? The floors get ALOT colder in WI in January.

I do appreciate that you brought it up, though. Maybe I'll do baseboard heat and carpet instead....
Not CA, I'm in NJ. Mild year this year, but not usually the case.
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Ariana 05:52 PM 04-24-2012
First off I'm sooo jealous!!

I didn't read all the responses but what I like about my walkout basement daycare is the ceramic tile!! So easy to clean and I've never had issues with kids falling and cracking skulls. I had one kid hit her head hard on my floor a couple of times during a tantrum but she was perfectly fine. I would never want carpet myself. I also have stairs that come down the side of my house but they aren't very sturdy and secure so parents aren't really able to use them which is crappy. Make sure the stairs leading to the downstairs are done well as walkouts get a lot of soil runoff from rain and snow and stairs can become dislodged etc. We got an estimate to get them fixed and labor alone would cost us $7000!!

Keep in mind I'm not licensed so have no idea what licensing requirements would be...but my wishlist would be a bathroom with a half wall and a change station. I would set it up so that while I was changing kids I could look out and see everyone. The half wall would also provide some privacy for children using the toilet but you still could pop a head over the side to see if they were ok.

I would also love a small kitchen with a similar set up so that I could supervise and make lunch/snack at the same time.

I would also love a book nook, or corner with lots of windows and light lined with bookshelves. Set up some bird feeders outside and you have a perfect quiet area. This would also make a great space for non nappers so I would have it positioned away from the nap area.

Have fun!!
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Sprouts 07:52 PM 04-24-2012
Is the basement going to be partially above ground? or totally below ground with the small windows on top?....a great house for daycare in basement is the Raised ranch style, because when your in the "basement" it does not feel like a basement at all and u get as much sun down stairs as u do upstairs.

http://www.bestbuymodularhomes.com/raised-ranch-plans/
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Heidi 08:58 PM 04-24-2012
Originally Posted by Sprouts:
Is the basement going to be partially above ground? or totally below ground with the small windows on top?....a great house for daycare in basement is the Raised ranch style, because when your in the "basement" it does not feel like a basement at all and u get as much sun down stairs as u do upstairs.

http://www.bestbuymodularhomes.com/raised-ranch-plans/
exposed completely in the front, with a window and door facing the play-yard. One more window on the next wall over (around corner), and an egress in the bedroom.
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Blackcat31 07:54 AM 04-25-2012
Originally Posted by Heidi:

I'll have to ponder the concrete floor thing more. You really aren't supposed to put anything thick over heated floors, and honestly, the kids go on the cement sidewalk outside. I will have area rugs though...gotta have those soft surfaces! I'll just have to make sure to place furniture to limit any running, like creating smaller centers, etc. My sister does have painted, heated concrete at her vacation home, and there have been no issues with visiting kids, even little ones.


So, do I create a "baby zone" right at the start, or do I make a preschoolers only area for the older ones? hmmm...
We have heated floors throughout our entire house and not only do we have hardwood flooring but area rugs on top of that. I have never heard that you can't put anything heavy over the top of them. Maybe when the heated floor thing first came out but my brother just built a new house last year and he has carpeting wall to wall on all his heated floors and they still radiate a ton of heat! I think the heated flooring is an awesome way to go and love them. Especially on a chilly winter morning....I can feel the heat through the wood floors and rugs.

I recently made my daycare into "zones". BEST thing I have ever done! I have one space for infants, one for toddlers and one for preschoolers. They are loving it! Everyone seems to play nicer together as well as staying on task a bit longer too. They get plenty of mixed age group time together but I know they really appreciate the separation at times. Especially when my preschoolers are deep into making something complex.

Another thing I was going to mention in my earlier post was the ONE thing I canNOT live without here is my separate entry area. I love having a coat room. Keeps parents in one area for drop offs and pick ups as well as keeps the weather-mess (snow, ice-melt, mud, grass, sand, etc) from invading the rest of my house!
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Heidi 08:09 AM 04-25-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
We have heated floors throughout our entire house and not only do we have hardwood flooring but area rugs on top of that. I have never heard that you can't put anything heavy over the top of them. Maybe when the heated floor thing first came out but my brother just built a new house last year and he has carpeting wall to wall on all his heated floors and they still radiate a ton of heat! I think the heated flooring is an awesome way to go and love them. Especially on a chilly winter morning....I can feel the heat through the wood floors and rugs.

I recently made my daycare into "zones". BEST thing I have ever done! I have one space for infants, one for toddlers and one for preschoolers. They are loving it! Everyone seems to play nicer together as well as staying on task a bit longer too. They get plenty of mixed age group time together but I know they really appreciate the separation at times. Especially when my preschoolers are deep into making something complex.

Another thing I was going to mention in my earlier post was the ONE thing I canNOT live without here is my separate entry area. I love having a coat room. Keeps parents in one area for drop offs and pick ups as well as keeps the weather-mess (snow, ice-melt, mud, grass, sand, etc) from invading the rest of my house!
Yes to the coat area! I don't have seperate one here, and I hate that. Even sectioning off an area with the cubbies would be great, but I don't have the space. For me, it's not about the parents not comming in...I'd love them to. It's because so often I have to chase my toddlers OUT of the cubbies. Taking shoes out to try on (we do have dress up shoes), taking other kids treasures (art work to take home, for example). I will definately incorporate and area for cubbies, parent bulletin board, a comfy chair for parents with brochures (and maybe a coffee machine), a bench for everyone to sit on to take shoes off/on (ooooh, I can even label each spot!)
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Sprouts 03:40 PM 04-25-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:

I recently made my daycare into "zones". BEST thing I have ever done! I have one space for infants, one for toddlers and one for preschoolers. They are loving it! Everyone seems to play nicer together as well as staying on task a bit longer too. They get plenty of mixed age group time together but I know they really appreciate the separation at times. Especially when my preschoolers are deep into making something complex.
I am just curious, how much square feet do you have for daycare? I would also love to make seperate zones for baby, toddler, preschool as well...i have two zones right now....infant/toddler and preschool but the toddlers get restless but the stuff i have out for preschoolers are either choking hazards or super pain to constantly clean up after the dumping....
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